Landholders must report suspected plague locusts

Following rumours of locust activity in the Coonamble, Condobolin, Nyngan and Lake Cargelligo areas Central West Local Land Services is reminding land managers to report any suspected sightings to the agency ASAP.

The reminder follows higher numbers of reports last year and a reduction in direct reports from land managers in 2021.

Central West Local Land Services Senior Biosecurity Officer Alicia Whiley said early reporting can facilitate support to control the problem before it grows.

“Landholders should be aware that swarms, if they lay, can become a much larger problem so it is best we know about it prior to a second generation hatching,” Ms Whiley said.

“We have seen aerial photos of the destruction locusts have been causing around Moree and need landholders to be our eyes and ears to make sure we can manage problems early in our region.

“Adult plague locusts usually like to lay eggs in harder loamy red soils, especially on compact roads next to crops, tree lines and farm buildings, especially those built on higher ground such as ridges,” Ms Whiley said.

“Locust egg beds can be identified by a series of small holes in the earth, but they can be difficult to find,” she said.

"One reliable indicator of new hatchlings emerging is the presence of flocks of ibis, wood swallows, crows and other large birds, which like to feed on them.”

Adults of the Australian Plague Locust can be readily distinguished from other species by the large dark spot on the tip of the hindwings and distinctive scarlet hindleg shanks.

Adult body colour is variable and can be grey, brown or green. Adult males measure 25-30 mm long while females are 30-42 mm long.

A good guide to learn about the different locust and grasshopper types can be found at: http://www.agriculture.gov.au/pests-diseases-weeds/locusts/about/about_locusts

If you suspect Australian Plague Locusts or have any other pest sightings or impacts to report, please contact your nearest Local Land Services Biosecurity Officer on 1300 795 299.

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